DEL MAR, Calif. – City leaders in Del Mar continue to discuss how a short-term rental ordinance will look within their city.

At Monday’s city council meeting, council members began getting specific with what restrictions would be placed on operators, and the locals weighed in as well.

“My suggestion is you start with the least restrictive rules,” Gina Mattern said. 

After studying 17 other California cities, city staff came to council with a list of recommendations.

“Allow all who want to register for a permit, receive one. No limits on days per year,” Mattern said.

The current recommendation is allowing about 5% of all dwelling units within the city to operate as short-term rentals, but that number remains flexible. A permit to operate would be required and it would need to be renewed each year, along with a business license and rental insurance.

There were several comments about keeping permit fees low, given the city stands to make a 13% lodging tax off of the rentals.

“That is a loss of income for owners of 13% already on the table because we’re passing that through to you guys,” Kimberly Jackson said.

Jackson said rental owners support the tax, but “a hefty price tag on a permit that’s really going to impact a lot of families who rely on this income.” 

City leaders are also in agreement on a 24-hour point of contact for each property, minimum rental age of 25 and no special events allowed at short-term rentals.

Rental owners have been heavily involved in the process, which will continue with city staff creating a draft ordinance and bringing it back for review in early 2024.

City leaders acknowledge there is still concern around these types of rentals in Del Mar.

“There are people here who are opposed to short-term rentals. I find myself as the voice of all residents and so I’m going to take that into account as well,” Mayor Tracy Martinez said. 

Once a draft ordinance is created and agreed upon, the city of Del Mar must then pass it on to the Coastal Commission for its approval.